Injured in a Slip and Fall Accident? Here’s What You Should Know.
Slip and fall accidents are more common than many people realize. When it happens to you, what can you do about it? The first thing you need to do is take photos of the area and substance/object/thing you slipped/fell on and immediately find a manager or employee to make a written incident report documenting what happened. The second thing you should do is see a medical professional to make sure your injuries are documented and that you are getting proper medical care. Your health should be your primary concern. If you find that your injuries are more serious than you thought, it may be time to consult with an attorney who is experienced in slip and fall accidents.
So, What will an attorney do that you may not be able to do on your own?
Find out who was liable for your slip and fall injury
Before an attorney can file a lawsuit or claim, they need to establish who can be held legally liable under the law. Typically, three types of individuals or entities can be held liable for slip and fall accidents: homeowners; property owners; and municipalities.
Prove negligence in your slip and fall accident
Negligence can be defined as the failure to use the same care that a reasonably prudent person would. An example of negligence could be a business owner who knew or should have known that one of the steps on the outside stairs was broken, and didn’t fix it. Consequently, a customer fell through the stairs and broke his or her leg. In this example, a lawyer may have to prove the business owner knew about the step and had ample time to fix it but didn’t.
In California, in order to prove negligence the plaintiff(s) must be able to show the following things:
- The defendant had a duty to either commit or refrain from committing a certain act.
- The defendant breached his/her duty and was negligent.
- That breach of duty caused injury to the plaintiff.
- The defendant’s actions or inactions were the proximate cause (primary cause) of the plaintiff’s injuries, and that the defendant should have been able to predict the result of his actions or inactions.
- The plaintiff suffered harm, loss, and or injury (i.e. pain and suffering, lost wages, or out-of-pocket medical care).
Establish “Pure Comparative Negligence”
Deciding who is at fault in an accident, and how much fault can be attributed to their injuries can be a difficult undertaking. California’s negligence law subscribes to the doctrine of “pure comparative negligence” which allows a plaintiff to sue and recover for the percentage of liability that a defendant is responsible for. For example, a drunken man is walking down a sidewalk, isn’t paying attention and falls into an open hole on a construction site. He breaks his leg and sues the construction company for not having a barrier around the hole. In court, the man is found to be 70% liable for his own injuries, and the construction company is found to be 30% liable for his injuries. If a jury decides that there are $100,000 in damages the injured man will only collect $30,000 in damages because the construction company is only responsible for 30% of his injuries.
Determine injury damages from your slip and fall accident
If your lawyer was either successful in suing for negligence, or your lawyer has obtained an out-of-court settlement on your behalf, you may receive compensation for the following damages.
- Lost wages
- Medical bills
- Personal injury
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
Sooner or later, accidents will happen to everyone. It is a part of life and can’t be avoided. But what if your slip and fall accident was caused by someone else’s negligence? Most people don’t know enough about personal injury law and negligence to decide if someone else was at fault, and how to pursue a claim against them. An attorney who has experience in slip and fall accidents knows what questions to ask, whether or not you have a case, and will fight to get you the best possible settlement.
At M&Y Personal Injury Lawyers, we have handled many slip and fall accidents in California, and have recovered over $100 Million for our injured clients. Get your free injury consultation today and let us help you get the justice you deserve!